Russian Meteorology and Hydrology

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 258–266 | Cite as

Wave interpretation of major Baltic inflows



The water dynamics in the straits between the North and Baltic seas during two major Baltic inflows that took place in the January of 1993 and 2003 is investigated using satellite altimetry data. It is found that the water mass surge to the eastern coast of the North Sea occurs before the beginning of the major Baltic inflow, and the sea level difference between the two seas is ~60 cm. Low-frequency fluctuations in the sea level and its wave parameters are studied. The wavelet analysis and the frequency-directed spectral analysis reveal the wave nature of the mechanisms leading to major Baltic inflows. The empirical characteristics of the obtained low-frequency waves are compared with the theoretical dispersion relations for the gradient-vorticity waves. Sea level variations during major Baltic inflows in the Danish Straits are identified as baroclinic Rossby waves. The analysis of cyclonic activity in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrated that stationary cyclones were observed during the inflows; this proves the feasibility of the resonance mechanism of the generation of major Baltic inflows.


The Baltic Sea major Baltic inflows sea level altimetry low-frequency waves 


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Zubov State Oceanographic Institute, St. Petersburg BranchSt. PetersburgRussia

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